View Full Version : Developing a horse's shoulder muscles
02-03-2010, 05:27 PM
What is, in your opinon, the best way to develop a horse's shoulder muscles for a saddleseat horse with show shoes? I do have stretchies....are there additional ways to build them in the winter months in an indoor arena?
In addition, I am working on getting him to open up his stride. Other than shoeing, are there other ways to get him to open up his stride at the trot?
02-03-2010, 08:48 PM
I guess things that I would do would be ground poles or caveletti, or, and it depends on where you live, I'd just do a lot of work in the deep snow. :)
Getting the horse in great physical condition, health and comfort are paramount. If it is a young horse, you just let him strengthen up over time. If he is older, a little conditioning may help. But, in either case, the horse's natural confirmation and strength are the most important things. My view and the now dominant view among judges (I believe) is that correct way of moving that is square and with a nice head set and forward ears are more important than height of action. So, try to let the horse do that.
Momentum is the source of motion in most horses and it comes from the hind quarters, so I would evaluate the "thrust" you are getting from behind. Collection is the other source, so the horse needs to bend laterally and vertically.
I like to let a horse loose in a round pen or small arena with maybe a set of dog collars or a stretcher and see what he does naturally. If I need to add weight, I do it very gradually.
I would resist any temptation to add too much weight or get overly concerned about motion. If he has it naturally, it will be enough. If he doesn't, it can be helped some, but there is no magic bullet.
Jogging with no overcheck and the horse flexed back or down with some gentle bending seems to be a good way to condition a horse and seems to help motion off all four corners.
JMO, as always.
Good advice from Sit. All we can really do is enhance a horse's natural gait, and sometimes it does equate to quite spectacular motion. Think about if people were all expected to travel a certain way...each one of us have our own distinctive gait, and if someone tried to get us to travel any differently than what we naturally travel we'd be miserable. I've tried to alter my gait with every kind of shoe insert and support that is available, and all I get is soreness and still travel the same...I probably wouldn't have made much of a show/performance horse, but I do like to think I'd have made a heck of a pet for someone. RKR
02-04-2010, 03:21 PM
I probably wouldn't have made much of a show/performance horse, but I do like to think I'd have made a heck of a pet for someone. RKR
LOL what makes a person good pet quality? LOL
The same traits that make your pet good pet quality.
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